BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — It’s not often that some of the top basketball TikTok stars are all in Western New York, but on Thursday, ten popular content creators will be at St. Mary’s of Lancaster playing in the Buffalo Cold Rush Creator Event to find out who the best basketball player is on TikTok.
“The reason it all started is me and Gerald Beverly met Emeka Uzomba, I actually taught him in high school, and he’s a big TikTok creator. All of his fans wanted to know who was good at basketball among the TikTok community,” Mark Coppola, co-owner of Buffalo Cold Rush, said. “We have a bunch of different TikTok creators coming in, and we’re doing a basketball event where the five creators from across the country are coming to play the five creators from Buffalo and also some good local players as well.”
The event was put together by Buffalo Cold Rush, a local basketball training and entertainment company founded by Mark Coppola, a 2010 grad of Williamsville South and former All-WNY point guard, and Gerald Beverly, a 2015 Daemen basketball graduate and current international basketball player.
But the idea for the Buffalo Cold Rush Creator Event came from Emeka Uzomba, a 2017 graduate of Charter School for Applied Technologies and recent TikTok star best known for his trick layups, who wanted to prove to the country that Buffalo basketball should get more respect.
“It’s crazy how it started. I was talking to one of my friends and was saying that I feel like Buffalo doesn’t get enough love. There needs to be an event. I feel like I have made friends when it comes to influencers and wanted to get them out to Buffalo so I talked to Mark and he was like yo, that’s a great idea,” Emeka Uzomba, 2017 CSAT grad and TikTok star, said. “So once we talked about it, we were like let’s not just talk about it, let’s do it. I started reaching out to my friends in the social media community and they got back to me and were like yeah I’d be down to come.
“I just wanted to do something big for Buffalo,” Uzomba said.
It didn’t take long for Uzomba to reach out to fellow TikTok stars and convince them to fly across the country for the event. While there’s sure to be plenty of high-flying dunks, crazy layups and insane trick shots during the game, after it’s all said and done, Beverly hopes that this is just the start of people respecting Buffalo basketball and the players that come out of it.
“I think it’s going to be great for Buffalo basketball. As we mentioned, I don’t think Buffalo basketball gets the love it deserves. Whenever people think of New York State for basketball they immediately think of New York City which is cool, I have no disrespect, but we can hoop up here too in Buffalo,” Gerald Beverly, 2015 Daemen grad and co-founder of Buffalo Cold Rush, said.
“I think this is a great opportunity to get out there and show what we can do, and if this is as big as we think it can be, this could become an annual thing and we could really make a real presence out of this and really put Buffalo on the map, basketball wise.”
The Buffalo Cold Rush Creator Event is set to be played at St. Mary’s of Lancaster on Thursday, July 8th at 7pm. Tickets to the game are available online at https://buffalocoldrush.com/ for a presale price of $15 that ends on Wednesday night, or at the door for $20. You can also purchase the WNY Athletics livestream for $9.99.